I’m obsessed. That’s it. Whole review. OBSESSED. Yes, I realize that seems a little over enthusiastic, but I really do mean it. From the second I opened the sleek and stylish box I was thrilled with the JBL Pulse 4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker. I thought it was an interesting design for a speaker, and then when I realized all the tricks it could do on top of its incredible sound quality, I was sold, but let me get into it a little deeper.
This speaker is definitely not the lightest portable speaker on the market. It’s actually a little on the heavier side if you ask me at 2.78lbs—which would have been a bit of a complaint until I got to know the big guy better. The Pulse 4 features an IPX7 waterproof design, a stunning LED light show, a battery that will last all night long and a literal woofer at the bottom pumping out sound like I’ve never heard. It would be hard to fit all that into a dainty speaker that you can pop into your purse—and let’s be clear, I still pop this into my purse, it just weighs me down a little.
The most important thing about a portable speaker is the sound, obviously. The speaker has an output of 20 watts, but what I love about it is the way they designed the woofer, placing it on the bottom with a little lift around the rim of the speaker allowing any sound and bass being pumped out to echo off the surface, putting more power behind the audio. When I first turned it on and connected it to my phone via Bluetooth—which was seamless by the way—the volume was extremely low on the device, and I was shocked by how loud it still sounded. My kids actually decided to turn it up as loud as they could for fun, and it blew us away.
The sound capabilities are not only loud, but full of bass and generally just great quality. The Pulse 4 is small in stature but fills the room better than some of my higher quality wired speakers. If your space is larger and you find yourself needing more sound, JBL has thought of that too with JBL PartyBoost, meaning you can connect more than one JBL speaker together to create a whole house full of music if you so choose. The JBL Portable app lets you easily connect one or more speakers to your phone and then you can play your music till the party dies down.
“My kids love designing whatever they can, and with them being six and two, it just goes to show how easy the app is to use.”
JBL Portable also does something that blew my mind when I learned how to use it. Yes, it allows you to connect your speakers, and even update them (who knew you needed to update a speaker?), but it also lets you control your light show. On the speaker itself there is a button that allows you to cycle through different patterns like Spiritual, Campfire, Equalizer, and Wave. In the app however, you can choose the colour scheme for each pattern—any colour you can dream of. You can even use your camera to colour match a specific colour just laying around your home.
We can design our own colour themed light shows for any party. Not only that, but you can customize your own movements and patterns with the lights too. My kids love designing whatever they can, and with them being six and two, it just goes to show how easy the app is to use.
I also take this speaker with me everywhere I go. I bring it to the office, to my mom’s house, to my friend’s place, and I promise you it comes from room to room with me in my house too. Possibly my favourite feature—yes, even over the fun lights—is that it’s waterproof. I usually bring my phone into the bathroom when I take a long bath and get lectured by my husband about how the moisture can’t be good for my phone (is that even a thing anymore?).
But with the Pulse 4 I can literally bring it into the shower with me with no worries whatsoever, and I have. The LED lights make for an excellent candle replacement for a relaxing evening of bubble baths and my favourite tunes. When it gets warmer it will definitely be coming to the beach and pool parties too!
The only reason the Pulse 4 didn’t receive a perfect ten from me is very possibly a bit of a personal issue for me. The lights are covered in a thick, clear casing, which is great because it makes it durable—seriously, my two-year-old steals it and runs regularly. My issue lies with fingerprints though. There are small spaces at the top and bottom to grab hold of the speaker, but it’s so much easier to just pick it up in the middle. Since they made it so amazing, I’m constantly carrying it around with me, and that means it is constantly smudged. I feel like I’m polishing it more than I do dishes at this point. It’s a small issue, but it is enough for me to be irritated on occasion, knocking it down a whole half of a point.
“The JBL Pulse 4 Portable Bluetooth speaker is THE speaker to beat as far as I’m concerned.”
This speaker masters great customization, easy connectivity, colour coordinated light shows, with bass for days and does it all with the added bonus of JBL PartyBoost. The JBL Pulse 4 Portable Bluetooth speaker is THE speaker to beat as far as I’m concerned. At $249.95 USD I originally thought that I would have never purchased this for myself, or even for a gift for a loved one. But after being given the chance to test it out, I’m in love, I’m never going back, and I will likely buy a second one, even at that price—it’s worth it.